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Everybody's Column

>ECC needs to review its admissions policies

I read with interest the article on March 12 about the new academic building for Erie Community College North Campus. I am curious how Kideney Architects was chosen to design the building. Was it open to bid?

I also question how a building can be designed without knowing which academic areas are going to be using the building? Do all academic areas have the same requirements for classrooms?

The article mentions that many Erie County residents go to Niagara County Community College because it has newer buildings and better classrooms. Is there clearly an exodus of students because of newer buildings at NCCC? When I chose to go to NCCC instead of ECC, it was because Niagara Community fully accepted my undergraduate course credits from Oswego from the 1960s without question. ECC was going to have to review them and ask for course descriptions. I had already taken two courses at ECC North and had done well in them. At no point was my decision made to go to NCCC based on the fact that it had newer buildings and better classrooms. NCCC accepted me without hassle. Has ECC reviewed its admissions policies?

Since several million dollars of taxpayer money will be used for building the new building, I would think that some of these questions need to be answered before forging ahead with the plan.

Vernon L. Noble

Williamsville

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>Keep protesters away from military funerals

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas has the constitutional right to picket and protest military funerals. The pastor's daughter, who is a lawyer, said, "we're going to picket more."

These rights they so freely use were guaranteed by the lives lost more than 200 years ago, culminating with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants freedom of speech. Our young men and women serve, fight and die so that these protesters can continue to disgrace these families, God and the United States of America. I am ashamed that they are allowed this freedom and also profess that they are Christians. If they must have this freedom, then policy makers should allow it only in parks. Let our children go to eternal rest in dignity.

I am the proud mother of Nathaniel C. Jones Jr., seaman apprentice, who was killed April 19, 1989, on the USS Iowa. Thank God for our Patriot Guards and the citizens of the world who respect and honor the sacrifices made by our military.

Georgian Davis

President, Department of New York

American Gold Star Mothers

Cheektowaga

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>It's time to get rid of career politicians

Again I read ill-informed rhetoric from readers of this paper, such as the March 13 letter, "New York can't afford such generous benefits." The writer obviously has no idea that there are billions of dollars in the New York State pension fund, which workers do contribute to. He obviously doesn't know that until 10 years ago, no municipality had to donate to the fund due to its healthy growth. He doesn't realize that it is its own separate fund, having nothing to do with the general fund, and its monies cannot be used for any purpose other than pensions.

I would invite him to join in the fight against the real culprit in our midst -- fat pork monies that buy votes, generations of welfare that will never end and political money that goes to politicians' pet projects in their districts. Government was created for public safety, education and infrastructure. Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of that. Now people feel that their art studio, nonprofit group, stadium or the cab they take to the pharmacy is what our government is here for. If we nip these perks in the bud, then the issue of picking on the working men and women will go to the wayside. Let's start by getting rid of career politicians and limiting their terms. Then they won't need to buy votes with our money.

Kevin T. Biggs

Buffalo Police Detective

East Aurora Village Trustee

East Aurora

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>Police could have done more to prevent murder

With the trial of Muzzammil Hassan concluded, it is now time to hold the Orchard Park Police Department accountable for its grotesque dereliction of duty in this tragedy. Previous to the beheading of his wife, the police responded to no less than 12 domestic abuse incidents involving Hassan.

After the murder, Assistant Chief of Police Ted Gura blamed the victim by stating that she didn't follow through on charges. (Buffalo News quote: "On two incidents specifically, I remember the charges sitting here, waiting to be signed. If she had signed, we would have arrested him in a heartbeat.")

In some cases, police do not need the cooperation of an abuse victim to take action and arrest the abuser. Whether the police failed to act because of a politically correct hypersensitivity regarding Muslims or some other reason, the fact is that their failure to act in protecting Aasiya Hassan directly contributed to her horrific murder. Opportunities to intervene were plentiful and could have prevented this escalation of violence. However, those entrusted with serving and protecting the vulnerable failed Aasiya in the worst way. Orchard Park Police Chief Andy Benz should do the right thing and resign. If he doesn't, the Town of Orchard Park should fire him for ineptitude.

Jeff Lyons

Hamburg

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>Why would Caputo call elderly father to scene?

Let me get this straight. Michael Caputo is about to be pulled over by Orchard Park police on a speeding charge. So he calls his 73-year-old daddy, who has health issues, to come and witness his confrontation with police.

Basic advice from my father when I started driving: If you are ever pulled over by the police, for whatever reason, stay in the car. It appears the senior Caputo must have instructed his son: If you are ever pulled over by the police, call me, then we will get out of our cars and argue your case.

Well, now Caputo can argue his case in Aurora Town Court with his attorney Joel Daniels at his side. I am sure Caputo's attorney will advise him how to act if he is ever pulled over by police in the future, for a small fee.

Phil Ryan

West Seneca

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>Plenty of things to do besides watch football

Many people are stressing about the severity of a possible strike by the NFL this fall. I suggest they turn this into a positive and use this time to read, exercise or spend time with family. Life is short. People work too hard for their money, and it seems wasteful to support these overpriced athletes.

Marty Farrell

West Seneca

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